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The Blue Castle

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  27,341 ratings  ·  3,671 reviews
An unforgettable story of courage and romance. Will Valancy Stirling ever escape her strict family and find true love?

Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the "forbidden" books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle--a place where all her dreams
Mass Market Paperback, 218 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Bantam Books (first published 1926)
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Courtney Birnbaum I kind of suspect it is because it may not be in the public domain yet! Someone has copyrighted a screenplay in 2007 and another in 2008, so perhaps…moreI kind of suspect it is because it may not be in the public domain yet! Someone has copyrighted a screenplay in 2007 and another in 2008, so perhaps they will sell and we'll get a screenplay after all? But it's definitely possible that the book's relatively unknown status and its need to be a period piece (which costs more than a basic modern-day setting) has kept it from becoming a film yet. (less)
Dianna I am the most conservative reader I know as far as content goes—but even I would recommend this for teens. There is a story of a girl who became…moreI am the most conservative reader I know as far as content goes—but even I would recommend this for teens. There is a story of a girl who became pregnant outside of marriage, but there is absolutely nothing graphic or even suggestive about this book. (less)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
If you think your relatives argue too much over Sunday dinner or are just impossible to live with
try Valancy Stirling's family.

Written in 1926 by the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series, this is the story of Valancy, a 29 year old timid mouse of a person, considered an old maid by her family and the town generally. She does what everyone asks even when she hates it, quails before her insolent relatives, never talks back (except in her own mind), cries herself to sleep on a
I arrived late to the L.M. Montgomery party, not having grown up with her stories as a young girl, but rather read them for the first time in my late 20's. Knowing what I know now about the beauty and magic of her books, I realize I missed out of some major reading adventures with Anne, Emily, Pat and gang, and will consequently never be able to wax nostalgic about how those books effected my life (which is probably for the best, as I tend to go into sappy, melodramatic overdrive when I really ...more
May 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
An independent story from the author of Anne of Green Gables, written for an older audience. An important and underrated part of the Montgomery collection -- in this story, a young woman (young by our standards, an old maid in her time) rebels against her oppressive family and a conservative society to achieve a few basic but essential moments of happiness. On the surface this may look like flowers and fluff but, for the time, this was a subversively pre-feminist novel. Valancy becomes ...more
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-lit
"Valancy had lived spiritually in the Blue Castle ever since she could remember. She had been a very tiny child when she found herself possessed of it. Always, when she shut her eyes, she could see it plainly, with its turrets and banners on the pine-clad mountain height, wrapped in its faint, blue loveliness, against the sunset skies of a fair and unknown land. Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle. Jewels that queens might have worn; robes of moonlight and fire; couches of ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
What a delightful book! Who could not love this story about a woman who gains the courage to break free from the smothering yoke of her family and to make the most of the life she has left?

This book was hilariously funny in some parts, always inspirational, and sometimes pretty sad. It was intensely readable, and I loved Valancy and Barney. I could empathize very deeply with Valancy's situation, and I cheered her on when she stopped being afraid, and decided to be true to herself. Life is too
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me cry. And it is very rare when a story makes me cry.

This is one of Montgomery’s lesser know stories in The States. It got a reprint Stateside during the “Anne Mania” after PBS broadcasted the Canadian mini series.

And the premis of the story goes like this, Possible Spoilers.......

If you were told you only had a year to live, what would you do? And the main character crams in many things during that year. Which makes this book a fabulous adventure.

Even though it has its sad
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in need of a fairytale :)
Recommended to Anne by: Tweety, Ceri, Beverly, Sukanya, Kathryn & a score of others!
Once upon a time...

there lived a beautiful young woman named Valancy Stirling. She was tall, with black raven hair, large brown slanted eyes, and pale, white skin that gleamed in the moonlight and gave her an ethereal, dreamlike appearance.

Valancy was the mistress of the Blue Castle in Spain; a big, imposing, majestic structure of elegance and grandness, resplendent in blue. "Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle."

She had everything she wanted, from glamorous jewels to
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, classics
This book is simply delightful. If all you know of L. M. Montgomery is her Anne of Green Gables series, then I highly suggest picking up a copy of this lesser known classic.

Valancy Stirling is 29 and can't forget for a moment that she's unmarried and undesired. If her inadequacies did slip her mind, her "loving" family would be quick to remind her. Her whole life, she's lived under the thumb of the Stirling clan, bound to their ideals of how she should think, act, and feel. She's smothered, but
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of romance, hope, and/or LM Montgomery
This is my favorite novel by LM Montgomery, even though it's not necessarily typical of her books. It is the sweetest romance I have ever read, full of laugh out loud moments and obnoxious "villains". In fact, this book's annoying characters are on a par with Jane Austen's best. it's a great story of learning to be free of society's bonds and expectations, of finding love when and where least expected, and of the joys that come when you open your heart to them. I completely recommend this book. ...more
Helene Jeppesen
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars.
This was a lovely, cozy read that I started on a snowy day and finished the day after. Valancy is our main character; a 29-year-old spinster who’s not at all satisfied with her life. Right from the beginning she moans about everything from her room to her family and her poor status as a single woman.
However, we meet Valancy on a fateful day that comes with a dramatic twist, and everything quickly sets off and goes in a delightful direction that I immensely enjoyed reading about.
Umut Rados
Such a joyous read for the first book of the year. No wonder it's a classic. I loved every page of it. Valency was a character I cared for a lot. I loved the writing. I loved everything about this book.
It warmed my heart a lot. I long for this type of books that are about love, innocence, care more than ever as recently every second book has some sort of violence, abuse, or grief in it.
We need more Blue Castles to read.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This just became one of my all-time favorites! In fact, this may be my favorite L.M. Montgomery book, and I'm a huge "Anne" fan! I loved Valancy saying exactly what she thought to her stuffy family. I loved the drama and the romance, and the beautiful descriptions of the Canadian wilds. What a great book! It's a treat to read, just a joy with every page!
April (Aprilius Maximus)
awwwww i'm so bummed. I thought the mc had anxiety so i was soooo excited, but turns out she didn't :(
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ by: Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

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I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Malfoy: Character you love to hate. For more info on this challenge, click here.

Oh man, this was just the palate cleanser I needed after all those crazy bodice ripper romances. L.M. Montgomery, author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES fame, brings to the table something wickedly funny and wholesomely real with THE BLUE CASTLE: a story of a bitterly unhappy girl who learns to discover
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Definitely, DEFINITELY a new favorite! Charming, witty, beautiful, delightful. Full of whimsy and heart and as is true of all Montgomery's books, stunning nature writing. And the sweetest romance there ever was (and a leading man with a most unfortunate name...). I laughed and cried - sometimes in the same chapter! This book rivals Anne for me,and that is something! Anne will always hold the top spot in my heart, but if not for nostalgia's sake, this one would sit right next to it.
I had no idea this book would be so charming. It reminds me of The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough. I wonder if McCullough meant her book as a sort of tribute to Montgomery?

There's a quite a bit in The Blue Castle that is early feminism. A young woman under constant criticism for not getting a husband and shackled to a narrow existence at home by family disapproval of female independence, breaks free of convention in the pursuit of happiness. I remember my grandmother telling me that
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-fiction
Valancy Stirling has committed the unpardonable sin of being 29 and unmarried. (Aw, crap! I was once guilty of THAT myself!) In her small, gossipy community, she has "failed to get a man," and is now a "hopeless old maid."

Valancy herself has not yet given up hope that Romance (Yes- capital R!) will come her way. And if all else fails, she has a rich fantasy life. Though her body may be stuck in an ugly brick box of a home, spiritually, Valancy lives in the Blue Castle in Spain, where everything
Although L.M. Montgomery's 1926 The Blue Castle is considered by many if not even most to be first and foremost a romance (and thus certainly not really my favourite type of reading genre), I have indeed and for the most part very much enjoyed reading about Valancy Stirling and Barney Snaith and indeed mostly because fortunately The Blue Castle is in my opinion not simply a romance and that well, from where I stand, the romance between Valancy and Barney (although it is of course sweet and ...more
In an era where authors are trying to outdo one another by coming up with the most ingeniously twisted story that one could not possibly imagine the magic of a simple old fashioned classic story goes a long way in entertaining you. With its uncomplicated plot, laugh out loud moments and familiar characters these books has the uncanny ability to reach out and bring to surface "that old feeling" which reminds you why you started reading in the first place.

Without much ado this book is based on a
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, cozy
This is a sweet story about a spinstery spinster who conversely is given a new lease on life when her doctor pronounces a death sentence on her. "If I have only one year to live", she reasons, "I had better start living"!

The first thing Valency does while squeezing out of society's cage is to see things (and people) as they truly are and speak the truth, niceties and platitudes be hanged!

I have to say that if I wasn't pressured by my daugher to keep reading this, I would have given it up around
This book is absolutely amazing. I fell in love with it on the first page, and that feeling never left throughout the story. This is, I think, the only book written by beloved author Lucy Maude Montgomery, of Anne fame, that is more directed at adult readers.

The story revolves around Valancy, a woman entering her 29th year, who is still unmarried and is the laughingstock of her family. She isn't pretty enough. She is bland. No man will ever have her. She was, unfortunately, born into a family

Rebellion flamed up in her soul as the dark hours passed by – not because she had no future but because she had no past.

One of my favourite youthful readings. Sweet though not maudlin, a bit unreliable at times, clichéd even but somewhat really well worked for me. Valancy Stirling, almost thirty-years-old, today we would say independent and self-aware young woman but a hundred years ago she was perceived as an old spinster, and actually neither independent nor self-aware. When we meet her on her
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If a book could be a sumptuous feast, this would be one fit for a king. I had no idea where Montgomery would take me. I refused to read the French flap of this edition, therefore I felt so constricted and pressed down when I read about how Valancy had lived most of her life. Not allowed to have opinions or have any say about anything including her wardrobe or reading material. Ugh! She's a 29 year old woman! So the whimsical and funny turn the book takes really jostled me in the most pleasant ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love everything by L.M. Montgomery but this is one of my top favourites by her. I’ve been to the Muskokas described in this book many times and it’s just as beautiful as she makes it out to be. She has the most wonderful setting descriptions and there were passages that I had to read over again just to savour them.

Valancy’s “awakening” from a life of dreariness and fear to a life of living showed a complete transformation. She had a wake-up call and took a chance, making some of her wildest
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My second time reading this was even more delightful than the first! I inhaled this book in two days, and it refreshed me wonderfully.


I can't read this book slowly. My third time through, I finished it in two days again. It's so delicious.


Fourth read of this delicious book, and again read it in two days. Simply cannot help but inhale it.
It was quite nice to be back into the lovely and whimsical storytelling of Lucy Maud Montgomery. After reading most of her Anne of Green Gables series, and enjoying them, I was excited to read something new by her! :-)

The Blue Castle told the intriguing tale of a twenty-nine year old woman living with her strict, bleak, colorless mother and cousin. She has no marriage prospects. Her family disdains her. She’s dying. And yet she’s never even really lived. What will it take for Valancy to go
Lois Bujold
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of sweet romances or interested in turn-of-the-20th-C. times
Recommended to Lois by: Goodreads discussion of another book

(I read this as a library e-book.)

Having just polished off a couple of modern Regencies with the Dying Hero trope, I had asked if anyone had encountered one with a dying heroine, because I was curious how they would compare. The differences in time, place, and style of the writing from this century-old book overwhelmed the comparison, alas for science, but it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless. It's been said that the two Ur-models for romances are Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella; this
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew by: J. Boo
Such a delightful start to 2017 reading.

Valancy has become a nonentity within her own family, alternately bullied and overlooked. Until, that is, she learns she has only a short time to live. At which point, hidden Valancy emerges, much to the discomfiture of her mother.
By this time they had reached Maple Avenue and Uncle Herbert's house, a large, pretentious structure peppered with meaningless bay windows and excrescent porches. A house that always looked like a stupid, prosperous,
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED THIS ONE SOO MUCH!! :D I think it will definitely be a reread! So happy that I finally got the chance to read it :)
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Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.

The author of the famous Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, in 1911 after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911
“If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you'll never be and you need not waste time in trying.” 367 likes
“Fear is the original sin. Almost all of the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something.It is a cold slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.” 223 likes
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